Governor Cuomo Announces $11 Million Awarded for Community Microgrid Development Across New York

Projects from Across the State Will Have Access to Financing from NY Green Bank in Next Stage to Assist in Building Microgrid Energy System

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $11 million in funding for 11 microgrid projects across New York State as part of the second stage of the NY Prize Community Microgrid competition. NYSERDA selected Global Common to design and develop the Freeport microgrid. The Global Common team includes GE Energy Consulting, Barton and Loguidice, Joule Assets, West Monroe Partners, D&B Engineers, and Couche White.

Microgrids provide critical power backup for homes, businesses, hospitals and other vital facilities during extreme weather events and emergencies, while supporting development of on-site cutting edge renewable energy technologies. Additionally, microgrids support New York State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

“It’s critical that communities across New York have reliable power to provide vital services when they are needed the most,” Governor Cuomo said. “These awards will help local government modernize and harden their power infrastructure, as well as join this administration’s fight against climate change, and create a cleaner, greener, Empire State for all.”

As part of the competition, each Stage 2 winner will receive $1 million through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which administers NY Prize, to conduct detailed engineering designs and business plans for a microgrid to bring local clean energy generation and backup power to their communities. In addition, winners advancing to Stage 3 of the competition will have access to financing for microgrid construction through NY Green Bank.

“New York has been a nexus for energy innovation since Thomas Edison flipped the switch at the Pearl St. Station 133 years ago,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. “Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to scale up New York’s clean energy and build a more resilient, affordable system. Microgrids provide critical power backup while supporting the development of on-site cutting edge renewable energy technologies, which is why we are continuing to incentivize communities through NY Prize to invest in sustainable development.”

Since community microgrids and clean energy projects are not easily financed through traditional capital providers like banks, access to NY Green Bank financing will be especially important to the completion of these critical projects. NY Green Bank is prepared to facilitate up to $50 million in financing assistance per project to Stage 3 winners subject to its investment criteria, due diligence and financial analysis. This announcement represents a significant increase in financial support for the build-out of project designs in Stage 3 of NY Prize, in addition to the $20 million available through NY Prize. Stage 3 winners are expected to be announced by the end of 2018.

NYSERDA awarded over $8 million for Stage 1 of the competition to 83 communities across the State to conduct microgrid feasibility studies in 2015. Nearly 150 communities had applied for the initial stage of the competition. Utilities played an active role in Stage 1 of the competition by identifying “grid opportunity zones,” or geographic areas where microgrids may reduce utility system constraints, and defer expensive infrastructure investment costs. Utilities also assisted communities and other partners with submission of their applications. Funding for Stage 1 and Stage 2 totals nearly $20 million.

NY Prize applications came in from combinations of community organizations, local governments, non-profit entities, developers, for-profit companies and municipally owned utilities. The 11 projects receiving funding are in the following locations:

Capital Region: Empire State Plaza; University Heights
Central New York: City of Syracuse
Long Island: Town of Huntington; Rockville Centre; Village of Freeport
New York City: East Bronx; Clarkson Avenue; Sunnyside Yards
Southern Tier: City of Binghamton
Western New York: Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus
For a full list of project descriptions, click here.

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